Before beginning his studies at the United Nations African Institute, Adolphe Lumuna Kimanwa, second from left, worked in community development in his home town of Katanga, DRC.
Scholar Works to Transform Church and Society: Adolphe Lumuna Kimanwa
By Sandra Brands
For Adolphe Lumuna Kimanwa, poverty isn’t just about a lack of money. It’s about social exclusion —racism, gender marginalization, bad government, injustice and limited access to education.
Poverty is also something he is working to combat. A community developer from Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kimanwa is currently working on a master’s degree in economic policy and development management at the United Nations African Institute in Dakar, Senegal. Making his studies possible is support from a Global Ministries World Communion scholarship.
“This World Communion scholarship I have been granted has given me an opportunity I could not pursue without the church and the people of God,” Kimanwa said. “The scholarship has enhanced and equipped me with resources, which will enable me to acquire the knowledge and sciences which will be used for the building of God’s kingdom and to end poverty.”
“It has given me an occasion to use my potential and talent which God has blessed me with for the sake of the neighbor, and has connected me to other Christians involved in mission.”
Kimanwa has been a community developer for more than 20 years. An active member of The United Methodist Church in the Southern Congo Episcopal Area, he will return to his home country upon completing his degree. There he will work in the community development office for socio-economic policies, strategies and politics for church self-reliance and Christian well-being.
“My vision is to revitalize an agro-pastoral center, the Kingandu Center, in southwest Lubumbashi, my home town,” he said. He will also initiate projects and plan training seminars in small project planning, management, evaluation and monitoring for lay and clergy leaders in the church.
Once he earns his master’s, he will also become a senior lecturer teaching community development management at the Centre Interdisciplinaire pour l’Education et le Développement, Département du Katanga. Eventually, he hopes to earn a doctorate and become a full professor.
“There is a growing need for teachers of socio-economic politics and project management in my conference, so to have one more in this country will contribute a lot to the training of students and the education of the community,” he said. Adding that the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most underdeveloped African nations, he said, “Being a teacher at a university is one of the best ways to bring back what I got by grace from God.”
Grateful for the scholarship, Kimanwa said he intends to use what he learns for the “glory of our Lord Jesus and (to) demonstrate our commitment to Jesus’ commission in Matthew 28. I will go back first to my home church and fulfill the need of my church and contribute to the evangelism of the church.”
“Later, I am ready to go wherever the church may judge important for me to go for the global mission. I am a Christian of everywhere and a worldwide missionary,” he continued. “As Wesley has said, ‘The world is my parish.’”
Thanks to contributions made by church members throughout the United States on World Communion Sunday, students like Kimanwa are making a difference in their communities and in their churches. World Communion Sunday is celebrated annually on the first Sunday of October – Oct. 6, 2013. The special Sunday offering supports scholarships awarded through the General Board of Global Ministries to graduate students in the United States and around the world.